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Science! Treasures, Chimera and all the fun stuff.

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  • Science! Treasures, Chimera and all the fun stuff.

    This is going to be a quick summary of Treasure mechanics and Treasure like mechanics available as of C20 and how we might improve upon them.

    1.So what is a Treasure? An object with both an autumn seeming and dreaming aspect that is empowered by various arts.

    So things that look like treasures but are not: Advanced Chimerical equipment. Items with Triggers cast on them. Certain Birthrights.

    2. Treasures can be broadly broken down into two categories: Imbued and Crafted. Imbued Treasures start with an Item of the Autumn world and require the knowledge of the art you wish to imbue(plus alot of glamour) while Crafted Treasures "just" require obtaining a number of Magical ingredients equal to the level of the art you wish to emulate.

    3.Furthermore One can make Temporary Treasures called "Wonders". Wonders are not given a unique method of construction so it would seem that the intent was to follow the same method as standard Treasures. This of course leads to why would someone make a temporary Treasure when they could make a permanent one.

    4. As Treasures grow in their legend they gain additional powers. This is thematically solid but difficult to properly adjudicate.

    5. There is no advantage or disadvantage to making an item have a particular visual look, that is to say technological or "complex" treasures(or chimera) have no advantage or disadvantage but rather are a particular choice. For example a Flying carpet and a Assult Gyrocopter would be built from the same level of difficulty.

    6. The Nocker Birthright doesn't function with the system at all but rather exists entirely outside it.

  • #2
    This one took time to make responses too, but I will deep dive, starting with some notable situations I encountered "in-game."

    =Notable Incidents=
    -Without Realms, should the effects of Treasure Arts have any notable restriction on range or scope? As an example, in one discord game where I'm doing assistant ST duty, a player wants to make "Jump Note," a variant of Death Note which casts Hopscotch on a person after you write that person's name in it, without needing to know if that person is of a particular splat-type. Which leads to questions about "effective range/LOS" about said Jump Note.
    -In the other one (the one I'm playing in), two notable instances have come up. My character is a Troll who has a day job as an auto mechanic for a military history museum, and at night, he has been working on modifying his pickup truck as a technical/combat vehicle for the Freehold. In order to keep things street-legal, he's mainly keeping said mods Chimerical in nature, adding sandbags full of chimerical concrete sandwiched in other exotic forms of Dreamstuff, while looking to mount siege equipment in the flatbed. Technically this is not a Treasure, since the truck is simply a platform for other chimerical objects which come and go. This led, however, to an...interesting discussion on "what happens" when the Wyrd is invoked. The Troll, as well as all of his Voile and Chimera become visible...but the definition of what Chimera the Troll "owns" is ambiguous. If he's using "communal" Chimerical property to modify "his" truck under sanction of the Baron, would Invoking the Wyrd make his War Rig visible to mortals?
    -The second one was more innocent. One of the Satyrs wanted to know if it was possible to distill Dross into moonshine, and what sort of effects could be had from it. The STs have been houseruling things case-by-case for these, alongside, say, healing moss for the Selkie nurse to make medpacks, etc, and it would be nice for there to be rules for "potion/consumable" effects.

    =Treasures=
    From the base Changeling rules, I find the core systems are actually pretty coherent. The "Single Art effect, disregarding/wildcarding Realm, activated reflexively or via active invocation" makes good sense. There are several notable hiccups however.
    -Legendary Effects are tricky to judge, as mentioned earlier.
    -Another aspect is over "How Much" Glamour a Treasure can store in it. "No more than 10 in most cases." Should this be expanded on? This could be either via Treasure becoming an aspected Background (similar to Holdings) or by making the Glamour stored a function of size. I personally like the first.
    -Another question is whether Dross can be spent in order to refill a Treasure's Glamour. "With ST permission, Dross may be used by players for cantrips, enchanting, crafting and other effects requiring Glamour point *expenditure*." However, a Changeling may *donate* Glamour to the Treasure, in order to be used later. RAW and RAI, I see this going either way, due to "effect" being a generic rather than a systemic term. The case for "No" is that a point of Glamour is a point of Glamour, and is thus not actually being spent by the Changeling but by the Treasure. The case for "yes" is that the act of donating Glamour is effecting change, and that itself required the Changeling to spend its Glamour to give said Glamour to the Treasure. This however implies the potential possibility for Treasures which could (e.x, via Summer 4 or Contracts 5) be used to indirectly convert Dross into raw glamour, like some bizarre Nocker take on a Japanese vending machine.
    --A second take, this one not based on current RAW but on older options/odd crunch/fluff, is whether you can power Treasures through means which do not involve the Changeling or an enchanted sentient as the middleman. For example, could said hypothetical "Vending Machine" Treasure instead be a "Backup generator" with charging racks for other Treasures? Or could you charge up a Treasure Audio Console used by a famous former DJ via a Freehold's Balefire?
    -Could a Treasure also have Chimerical effects built into it? It seems like the answer is "Yes," but the actual implementation would be to spend points on both the Treasure and Chimera backgrounds, with the Chimera having Glamour Pact. However, rules for intentionally crafting such a Treasure seem to require a lot of inference to work.
    -Assuming you can overlay a Chimerical item onto a Treasure, does it have a single unified Glamour Pool, or do both components have their own distinct Glamour Pools?
    -Can Treasures be *modified* or upgraded? For example, could you attach Picatinny rails and mount a 4x ACOG scope and tactical flashlight on a Lightning Gun? What happens if any such compoments are Treasures in their own right (e.x. if the Flashlight has Pyretics 2 on it for more...productive questioning sessions...). Or would you rule this so that in the case of "multiple treasures" in the same entity, only the dominant treasure is usable?
    -What benchmarks do you use for if an item is worth Imbuing? Could a Changeling use Revelry to inspire a Dreamer to create a masterpiece, then pump the Glamour from said Epiphany into Imbuing it? Could a Changeling theoretically scratchbuild a blade/gun/car engine in order to reach Rapture, and do the same thing?

    =Chimera and The Dreaming=
    -"For the sake of avoiding undue attention, many changelings will overlay chimerical objects onto mortal ones, so that their
    chimera have a corresponding material component in the mortal world." There is no system for this, based on the actual Chimera crafting rules. What mechanical tradeoffs exist for overlaying? Presumably, the main advantage of a material anchor is that it prevents Banality Triggers for wielding certain powers/abilities in plain sight, but it also has the downside of the material anchor being a target. Ram a real car, and the chimerical car will hurt too!
    -Dreams and Nightmares gave Enchanters Hedge Magic, while even in C20, Iteration 42 has a Lightning Gun. I assume these are edge-case powers and generally "ST-only" for purposes of statting up?
    -Can Inanimate chimera have Redes or Glamour, or is that a function of being complex/animate?
    -Based on the earlier "Wyrd Invocation" question of the Chimerically up-gunned technical, how does one define "ownership" of a Chimera for purposes of Invoking the Wyrd?
    -Changeling 20th got rid of Enchanted Strike and Dolorous Blow, so actually using chimera is somewhat trickier. That said, aside from giving the item itself the Wyrd Rede, is there any way to make an item (and only the item) Wyrd?
    -Is there a "master list" of rules for Chimerical physics/alchemy/etc, updated or otherwise? Kithbook Nockers was written awhile ago, and so ideas like "Electricity doesn't work without FUBARS," were what led to workarounds like Babbage-machine analytic recordingtapes, mastering steam, etc, while "Gematria" (not related to the Gematria of Judaism) was as much spiritual as academic, since the laws of physics were mutable and metamorphic in their patterns.
    -Likewise, could it be possible to "Flavor" Dross so that harvesting it from dead chimera can make it usable for potions/charms? For the time being, I am thinking of cribbing the Elder Scrolls mechanic: If you want to make a Draught you need need dross from at least two distinct Chimera with that Rede. For example, a Draught of Fear could be made from 1 Dross from a Cu Sith, 1 from an Outsider. Adding a Dross from a Fairy Cat to the potion would add the Hide effect, since the Outsider also has that Rede. You cannot "exclude" some Redes, and only a maximum of 4 dross may be mixed into a potion.
    -Is there "Conservation of energy" in the Dreaming? For example, could you hypothetically create a "perpetual motion" machine in the mortal world by powering it via a microrath to the Far/Deep Dreaming?
    -Inversely, could you dump radioactive waste or pump CO2/methane into a Nightmare Realm, and "solve" this planets ecological problems? Or would the Dreaming reject this as a banal/nightmare attack on its body?

    =Crossover Questions=
    -Does Chimeristry still actively create Chimera, as per older ST guides?
    -Can a Treasure also be a (Fetish/Relic [Wraith or Demon]/Artifact/Wonder)?
    -Can *Mages* with the Faerie Kin merit craft Treasures?

    =Misc=
    I am curious where the "function versus form" argument comes from, out of curiosity. Even from an "equivalent Arts" sort of perspective, I imagine there are asymmetric advantages and disadvantages to both. (E.x. the carpet could be rolled up and stored in the Freehold closet if need be.)
    Regarding the Nocker, the most immediate RAW application seems to be to be able to treat mundane materials as though Chimeric, for purposes of crafting temporary items (potions, bottle rockets, etc). I attempted a more complex homebrew earlier of making temporary "complex" Chimeric items but on hindsight I may have overengineered it. If the core Chimeric crafting system is clarified/expanded, Make it Work! can use minute tweaks.
    Goblins can also stand to have their ability tweaked, of course.
    Last edited by MagicJuggler; 10-02-2019, 11:01 PM.

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